Weekly Drought Update: Some Improvement

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Special Stories
17 Apr 2020 11:42 AM
This week's Drought Monitor has been released and shows some good news and some bad news. Of course, let's begin with the positive and discuss areas that have seen some improvement relative to drought.

The images below are courtesy the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This week's drought level (left) compared to the drought level one week prior (right). Shades of yellow, brown, and red show worsening levels of drought respectively. Across the Lower 48, improvements in drought conditions have been noted across parts of southern California and southern Texas compared to one week ago. This week's drought level (left) compared to the drought level four weeks prior (right). Shades of yellow, brown, and red show worsening levels of drought respectively. The drought comparison this week relative to one month ago shows the improvement even further across the southern areas of Texas and California. This can attributed to a more active subtropical jet stream during the past four weeks which has taken more storms across the southern tier of the United States. This week's drought level (left) compared to the drought level four weeks prior (right). Shades of yellow, brown, and dark brown show worsening levels of drought respectively. Across the West there has been some improvement in drought, but also some worsening. We mentioned the drought disappearing in southern California, but northern California has observed dry weather. In addition, parts of the Pacific Northwest have had below-average precipitation and a slight worsening of drought. Again, this can be attributed to a more-southern trajectory of Pacific systems, affecting more of the desert Southwest rather than the Pacific Northwest. Another area that has experienced a worsening of drought is the state of Florida. This week's drought level (left) compared to the drought level four weeks prior (right). Shades of yellow and brown show worsening levels of drought respectively. The monthly comparison (this week on the left, last month on the right) shows another dry stretch has occurred in central and southern Florida. While the northern part of the state has had heavy rain recently, much of the Sunshine state has been very dry lately. Is there any relief coming soon? Some wet weather is coming for northern Florida. However, this may come with strong thunderstorms this weekend. Related Story: Enhanced Risk Of Severe Weather This Weekend Elsewhere in the Lower 48, drought will likely persist (in the brown color below) across parts of the Pacific Northwest and Four Corners regions. The weather hazards outlook Sunday to Thursday, April 19th-23rd. Brown shades show drought continuing while circled areas indicate heavy rain and thunderstorms during this time period. The Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday morning. The data is valid through the prior Tuesday of that same week. We will continue to follow the drought story because as we get into the warmer months, the dry conditions may lead to a higher wildfire danger.
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